Prince wrote this song at a time when he was extremely prolific, recording numerous songs for himself and for others. His side projects included the groups Apollonia 6 and The Time, both of which featured in his movie Purple Rain
. "The Glamorous Life" was intended for the 1984 album Apollonia 6
, but Prince redistributed it (along with "Manic Monday
," which went to The Bangles), as he lost interest in Apollonia 6.
The group was originally Vanity 6, fronted by the Prince protégé Vanity (Denise Matthews). When she pulled out of the Purple Rain
film, Prince replaced her with Patricia Kotero, whom he dubbed "Apollonia" and made the new face of the group. According to Prince's biographer Per Nilsen, he wrote this song about
Apollonia, who told Nilsen: "He used to make all these stupid jokes, 'You're the kind of chick who would wear a mink coat in the summertime.' To this day I don't have my own mink coat! When Sheila came into the scene, Prince took away the song from us and gave it to her."